Marvel spoiled its own Empyre #4 "shock ending"

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

This week's Empyre #4 (opens in new tab) ended with a few huge surprises – not least of which is the reveal that Billy Kaplan/Wiccan and Teddy Altman/Hulkling/Emperor Dorrek VIII were secretly married prior to Teddy leaving Earth to lead the combined Kree/Skrull empire.

Page from Empyre #4 (Image credit: Marvel Comics)
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We've got all the details on Teddy and Billy's matrimony (at least everything we know) in our write-up of the events of Empyre #4 (opens in new tab) – but Marvel has broken the news itself, with the publisher issuing a press release with statements from both Empyre co-write Al Ewing, who scripted the scene, and Hulkling and Wiccan's co-creators Jim Cheung and Allan Heinberg, who came up with the characters and their relationship in the first volume of Young Avengers (opens in new tab).

"I've got a lot of love for Hulkling and Wiccan, both individually and as a couple," states Ewing in Marvel's announcement. "So it's a good feeling to be able to deliver this kind of 'shock ending' for readers, which hopefully lifts fans' spirits a little rather than bringing them down."

"When I was first asked to design Wiccan and Hulkling for the Young Avengers, I had no inkling of the longevity they would have, or even their impact on the hearts and minds of the readers," adds Cheung. 

"Billy and Teddy really became fully fleshed people to me, thanks to Allan's incredible writing, and it's been wonderfully rewarding to follow their growth and evolution under the guidance of other creators over the years. Now that they're taking their relationship to the next level, I can’t wait to watch where their next adventure takes them!"

Teddy and Billy were both founding members of the Young Avengers, and their relationship quickly developed throughout the series. The second arc of the initial Young Avengers title revealed the truth about Teddy's parentage and established him as heir to both the Skrull and the Kree.

"I’m eternally grateful to writers Al Ewing and Dan Slott, artists Valerio Schiti and Marte Gracia, editor Tom Brevoort, — and of course cover artist Jim Cheung — for telling Teddy’s story so gorgeously — on such an epic scale — and with so much heart," Heinberg states. "and for inviting me and Jim to the wedding!"

Empyre #5 (opens in new tab), which will presumably include more details about the wedding and what's happened to both of them since, is due out August 12.

I've been Newsarama's resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I've also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)